I think if there were not boundaries set in our house around video games my kids would play them all day and all night. They would forsake all other activity in exchange for hours upon hours of sitting in front of the television or computer trying to win the next level. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-video game. As long as the content is appropriate, I think they are fine and may even have some positive value. However, like most parents, it concerns me to see my child trade a variety of activities for just one all consuming activity.
In essence that is the core danger of the sin of gluttony. Not that video games, food, possessions, etc… are sinful in and of themselves, but that they can lead to a sinful obsession that robs your child of living a full and fulfilling life. So what can we do to keep our kids from falling into the pit of gluttony. Below is a story of how one mom gave her kids a powerful tool in the fight against gluttony and obsession.
Teach them to Listen to the Spirit
Not to long ago a friend of our family noticed that her children were spending increasing amounts of time consumed with a trading card game. They would spend hours looking at their cards, discussing their cards, and trading the cards with their friends. She began to notice that the cards were causing her kids to pass on other activities that they had once loved and enjoyed.
What she did about the problem was a stroke of pure parenting genius. Without judgement or scolding she sat her kids down and explained to them that she had noticed that they were spending more and more of their time playing with the trading cards and she expressed her concern that maybe the cards had taken place of other activities they had once enjoyed.
Now here is the genius part, she didn’t take the cards away or place limits on how often they could play with them. Instead she asked her children to take the evening to pray and ask God what he thought about how much time they were spending playing with the cards. They would then talk the next day about what they heard God telling them and go from there.
The next morning our friend was astonished at what she heard come out of her kids mouths. Her kids told her that they felt God was telling them that they were spending too much time playing with the cards and that they needed to take a break for a while. They all agreed to put the cards away for a few weeks and then bring them back with some rules about how much time they spend doing them each day. No pouting, no guilting, no bitterness, no hurt feelings, and no rebelling. Just kids that learned that Holy Spirit speaks to them and helps them see places in their life they can do better.
See what I mean, PARENTING GOLD!